Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Trang and Lashaan with @Bookidote

I will admit that I wish I had a friend, sibling, co-worker, (husband?) who shared my love for books and would consider blogging with me. There are a few blogging partnerships that I’ve run across and have even featured a couple on my blog. The partnership on the blog Bookidote seems to be a little different and wonderful.  Trang and Lashaan definitely share a love for books but they don’t necessarily love the same genre’s. They each have their own platform, yet share the same space. I LOVE that!

I was lucky enough that both Trang and Lashaan had the time to answer my 10 questions. Let’s see what they’ve got to say!

Bookidote logo

Blogging is universal and even though we inhabit the same community, we don’t always live in the same country. What country do you live in?

We both live in Canada, Montreal to be exact !

What is the view outside your front door?  

Trang: It’s a pretty basic view hahah not like the beach or anything.

Lashaan: I live in a residential neighbourhood with a bunch of apartment buildings next to one another. I can’t say it’s the prettiest view you could ever land upon! Or maybe I’m lying, and I just don’t want the world to know where my Batcave is at. :O

Most blogs have a fun story of origin. Please share the story behind your blogs name and/or why you started blogging.

Lashaan: It was the day I had suggested to Trang the idea of reviewing books in French because of her love for literature, but also writing. Knowing she had quite an amazing writing skill, I believed the idea of writing reviews in French and sharing it on a blog would have been an amazing public journal for her. The world would have been in awe at what she was able to convey. She then however wanted me to tag along and start an English book reviewing blog. While my own reading speed was pretty questionable compared to hers, I still found the idea exciting, especially since I looked at it as an opportunity to also review the little comic book collection I had started to build. That is how Bookidote came to life and grew to change our lives permanently! The idea behind the name is pretty simple. It combines “book” with “antidote”.

A definition for it was also once conceived and shared with everyone back in the day. Check it out:

Bookidote (\ˈboo-ki-ˌdōt\) : Lashaan and Trang’s creation. It is a commitment that holds countless ideas in one word. Three syllables. Nine letters. These two squandered souls firmly believe that books aren’t just a pastime for intellectuals or a mandatory purchase for your studies. Bookidote is so much more. It marries books with antidotes, knowledge with cure, imagination with elixir. It refers to the ability that books withhold in swallowing you into a boundless universe and encouraging you to live a unique and different adventure every time you crack open a book. Bookidote acknowledges the fact that books can help you explore ideas, stimulate your imagination and live innumerable lives.

Describe where you write your blog. 

Trang: I prefer writing my posts in my office or even in coffee shops. When I’m on a rush, I also do it in the subway hahah I always have the WordPress App to edit and finalize my drafts.

Lashaan: Fairly simple. I can’t write my reviews anywhere other than on my desktop computer. It’s just much easier there to get my mind to pour out all the thoughts I want to convey about anything. I currently operate on a dual monitor setup. I sometimes let myself believe that I’m a much more realistic version of Batman in his Batcave. 😀

Most of us have a stack of books sitting next to our couch or bed waiting to be read. What books are in your stack? 

Trang: A bunch of ARCs are waiting for me to get a new bookshelves to put them LOL


(that’s quite a stack! Here’s the Synopsis for only one….)

Bloody RoseBloody Rose by Nicholas Eames

A band of fabled mercenaries, led by the infamous Bloody Rose, tour a wild fantasy landscape, battling monsters in arenas in front of thousands of adoring fans, but a secret and dangerous gig ushers them to the frozen north, and the band is never one to waste a shot at glory . . . even if it means almost certain death.

Live fast, die young.

Tam Hashford is tired of working at her local pub, slinging drinks for world-famous mercenaries and listening to the bards sing of adventure and glory in the world beyond her sleepy hometown.

When the biggest mercenary band of all, led by the infamous Bloody Rose, rolls into town, Tam jumps at the chance to sign on as their bard. It’s adventure she wants – and adventure she gets as the crew embark on a quest that will end in one of two ways: glory or death.

It’s time to take a walk on the wyld side.

Lashaan: I actually have a shelf dedicated for the books I hope to read. They’re queued up and just waiting for me to find time for them!

(Another HUUUGGGEEE stack! Again, here’s one to sample!)

Neverwhere by Neil GaimanNeverwhere

Neverwhere is the story of Richard Mayhew, a young London businessman with a good heart and an ordinary life, which is changed forever when he discovers a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her—an act of kindness that plunges him into a world he never dreamed existed.

Slipping through the cracks of reality, Richard lands in the Neverwhere—a London of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth. The Neverwhere is home to Door, the mysterious girl Richard helped in the London Above. Door, a noblewoman whose family has been murdered, is on a quest to find the agent that slaughtered her family and thwart the destruction of this underworld kingdom. If Richard is ever to return to his former life, he must join the journey to save Door’s world—and find a way to survive.

If you have had a bad day and want to spend an hour reading a book, what is your go to genre or favorite book that will lift your mood?

Trang: My go to genre is Fantasy (in novels and graphic novels as well), I think when I’m sad I just want to escape the ordinary world for a bit. As long as I can find magical fairies, orcs, spells and some magicians, I’m happy. If I’m having a heavy day because a lot work had to be done, I like to entertain myself with some light Young Adult reads. It can go from contemporary or even science fiction.

Lashaan: I am not one to go back and re-read a favourite book even if I love the idea itself. Because of my reading speed and the little time that I have for reading, I tell myself that re-reading will be something I’d do after a huge number of years has passed since my last read (i.e. 5 years or more). But my go-to genre to remedy a bad day or to get a quick read in would easily be comic books.

With Batman as my favourite superhero, I’ve got plenty of stories with him that I can’t wait to check out. I also have plenty of other stories I could visit, some that aren’t about superheroes and some that aren’t comic book series, but just a graphic novel too. Comic books are just so easy to pick up, so fast to read, so easy to enjoy! They aren’t to be looked down upon! Some stories are so powerful, they’d blow you away! 😉


When you aren’t blogging, how do you spend your time? Work, Play, School?

Trang: My typical day in the week goes as follows: I’m working full-time for the National Research Council as an artificial intelligence in neurosciences associate. What the hell does that mean? It’s a lot of things but mostly I manage different research project teams, whenever a new technology can be developed to help the brain or we need to evaluate the functions of the artificial intelligence included in that technology, it passes by me and my team. I also do a lot of conferences and public speaking in different institutions to update people on what’s going on.  Around 6pm I spend my time to go through all my social media platform and manage my blogs (food, book blog and my main Instagram page) and turn to some watercolour painting keep my mind sane. Eating supper with my family or go to the food sponsoring events and then go to gym around 8pm until 10pm. I’m becoming pretty serious in working out now, I recently partnered with my local gym for some branding opportunities as well.  I usually read on my way to work or really late at night.

On the weekend I head out to Ottawa to work at the governmental headquarters and come back to Montreal on Sunday evening. I think because I have a lot projects and networking, people tend to think that I’m always going out with my friends. However since my week is packed, unfortunately, I rarely have time to see them so I tend to invite them to special events and see them like one or twice every year LOL

Lashaan: I work at a police headquarters as a crime preventionist. I wasn’t kidding when I said I was a realistic version of Batman. He has guided me through life in ways that no one could possibly grasp! 😀 Alongside that job, I’m also a researcher heading into a doctorate in criminology this fall 2018. As a researcher, I’m contracted on research projects as well as a teacher assistant. It’s safe to say I keep myself pretty busy! Outside of everything work-related, I hit the gym and play basket-ball. Basket-ball is a pretty significant part of my life, although I don’t practice it competitively like some of my friends do. I play it for the fun of the game! I’m also a gamer who enjoys late-night sessions with friends whenever they can. Even though free time for gaming is not easy to come by, I love to stay up to date with the technology and everything that goes on in that world of entertainment! Since the question was about everything outside of blogging, I must sneak in reading! I know, I know. Reading is sort of part of blogging, but man, the amount of reading I put in is insane! It’s hard to go a day without reading. That’s just how life is for me now.

My favorite blog post banner

What is your favorite blog post you’ve written?

Trang: Why We Love Psychological Thrillers – I love the research I did for this post. I learned so many things along the way and I get to experience a new format as well.
Lashaan : One of my favourite posts would have to be the one about co-blogging:

I sort of really enjoyed highlighting the pros and cons of this particular relationship we have at Bookidote and how well it worked for us.

Review-wise, there a couple of reviews that I really loved writing, but the list could go on forever. As someone who loves to put into words his thoughts about the books he reads, I find myself loving every piece I write (maybe 99% of them), even if there will always be a hater among the crowd. An example of a review I really loved writing is for The Black Prism by Brent Weeks:

The Black Prism

Have you ever met one of your favorite authors? If so, what did you say to them? Looking back, what do you wish you had said instead?

Trang: I met Marie Lu and Leigh Bardugo back in YALLWEST 3 years ago. I asked Marie Lu to write her favourite song instead of signing my book hahah and she did both!

Lashan: Most of my favourite authors have already passed away a very long time ago. I did get to meet a couple  of authors and artists at conventions, and I guess my favourite of them all would have to be meeting the outstanding author of Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo! As someone who rarely reads Young Adult novels, Six of Crows really blew my mind, and only a couple of YA authors can impress me like that. Meeting her in person was definitely a huge highlight in my life!

I got to see her at YALLWEST in Santa Monica a couple of years ago and I made sure to let her know how much I appreciated her book. Told her that as a researcher in criminology, the amount of research she put into writing Six of Crows merits all the respect in the world. I honestly don’t think I would have changed anything I had said or have anything in particular I would have wanted to say. Maybe I would’ve begged her to turn the duology into a never-ending series. In fact, I haven’t even read Crooked Kingdom yet. I just don’t want that duology to end. I also have super high expectations. The struggle is real!

If you could sit down with an author for a slice of cake and a question,  who is the author, what kind of cake would you serve, and what is the first question you’d ask?

Trang: I would like to sit down with Neil Gaiman while serving tiramisu and ask him what was going on his mind while writing American Gods.

American Gods

Lashaan:  I’d probably sit with Brandon Sanderson and serve him a molten chocolate cake infused with a significant amount of truth serum. Once he’d had savoured his cake, I’d have asked: “How do you write like that?”


My first thought when reading Trang and Lashaan’s answers to my 10 questions was WOW! Even after the explanation I’m still not sure what an Artificial Intelligence in Neuroscience Associate or Crime Preventionist is and maybe we need to clone these two! Their reading tastes are so diverse and interesting and after getting a peak into their lives I can kind of understand the influences that sway them towards those authors.

What surprised you all the most when reading Trang and Lashaan’s answers?

Have you read any of the books they have on their TBR’s? I’ll admit to having a couple of them on my own, but also and equal mix of never having heard of some of them. Thanks for putting these on my radar!

I really enjoyed their response to my questions. Thanks guys for participating!

If YOU are interested in being featured or know of a great blogger that I should feature, please give me a shout in the comments!

Until next Sunday!


Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with The Orang-utan Librarian

When I started blogging one of the first bloggers I followed was The Orang-utan Librarian. She writes great reviews and has the most amazing discussion posts, I almost always jump in with my own ideas and answers. Her topics make me think and I LOVE that! When I came up with this idea to highlight my fellow bloggers I knew I wanted her to be my first interview.

If you haven’t checked out The Orang-utan Librarian’s blog, please go take a look!


10 Questions Blogger to Blogger with the Orang-utan Librarian

  1. Blogging is universal and even though we inhabit the same community, we don’t always live in the same country. What country do you live in?

TOL: Sunny England- except that it’s not even remotely sunny ;

2. Most blogs have a quirky name and a fun story of origin. Please share the story behind your blogs name?

TOL: Yes, sure, I’m a fan of Pratchett, so I named the blog after his character The Librarian… who happens to be an orangutan 😉

3.Describe where you write your blog. Include a picture if you’d like!

TOL: Just at my desk or the dining room table. Annnd there won’t be pictures because *it is a mess*!!!

4. Most of us have a stack of books sitting next to our couch or bed waiting to be read. What books are in your stack? (Include a photo if you’d like!)

TOL: Hehe I have hundreds of books next to my bed… JK, I do have my kindle though and a couple of physical books I plan to read next (apologies for the dreadful photo). Although I say plan to read next, Curse of Chalion and Master and Margarita have literally been on my TBR for *years* (and this isn’t the first time I’ve put them on my bedside table to pressure myself to read them)

bedside table books blogger to blogger

Synopsis: The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold

A man broken in body and spirit, Cazaril returns to the noble household he once served as page and is named secretary-tutor to the beautiful, strong-willed sister of the impetuous boy who is next in line to rule. It is an assignment Cazaril dreads, for it must ultimately lead him to the place he most fears: the royal court of Cardegoss, where the powerful enemies who once placed him in chains now occupy lofty positions.

But it is more than the traitorous intrigues of villains that threaten Cazaril and the Royesse Iselle here, for a sinister curse hangs like a sword over the entire blighted House of Chalion. And only by employing the darkest, most forbidden of magics can Cazaril hope to protect his royal charge — an act that will mark him as a tool of the miraculous . . . and trap him in a lethal maze of demonic paradox.

Synopsis: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

The Master and Margarita (Russian: Ма́стер и Маргари́та) is a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov, written between 1928 and 1940, but unpublished in book form until 1967. The story concerns a visit by the devil to the fervently atheistic Soviet Union. Many critics consider it to be one of the best novels of the 20th century, as well as the foremost of Soviet satires.

5. If you have had a bad day and want to spend an hour reading a book, what is your go to genre or favorite book that will lift your mood?

TOL: Oh gosh on a bad day it’s got to be contemporary YA. That’s the best time for some lighthearted fluff.

6. When you aren’t blogging, how do you spend your time? Work, Play, School?

TOL: Okay I’m going to try and answer this without getting majorly self-deprecating. The basic lowdown is: I have a job, write whenever I can and hang out with friends. When I’m feeling especially *wild* I read books (I know, I live dangerously 😉 )

7. What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written? Please include the link!

TOL: Oh gosh- that’s a hard question! Probably an unexpected choice, yet I’ll always love the satirical piece I did called “Why Satire is Evil”.

(Totally funny post! If you haven’t read it, click the link. Why Satire is Evil.)

8. Have you ever met one of your favorite authors? If so, what did you say to them? Looking back, what do you wish you had said instead?

TOL: Well I got to meet Malorie Blackman when I was 12 and that was awesome. That’s over ten years ago now, but I still remember a lot of what she talked about in her speech and jumping up to be first in line to get my book signed after. I can’t remember for the life of me if I said anything to her beyond squeaking my name- but I figure I’d probably do the same if I met any author now- so no change there. What I regret is not having her sign all my books (I was trying to be nice, cos there were loads of people behind me, but now I wish I all my Noughts and Crosses books were signed LOL!)

Books by Malorie Blackman:

9. Do you have any blogging goals for the next year?

TOL: Nope- other than the fact I’ve got to take a break soon, I’m thinking I’ll just wing it.

10. If you could sit down with an author for a slice of cake and a question, who is the author, what kind of cake would you serve, and what is the first question you’d ask?

TOL: Hard question on every front- I mean, the only thing that’s harder than choosing just one author is picking just one type of cake! I want to say banana cake… but that would be a lie. Though don’t get me wrong, I love banana cake and that’d be a hilarious conversation starter, it’d be chocolate all the way. Lots and lots of chocolate! And the author would probably Philip Pullman, just because he’s awesome and I feel like he deserves some cake!

Thanks so much for answering my questions Blogger to Blogger!

TOL: Thank you so much for hosting me Deb!

I’ve learned a lot about The Orang-utan Librarian but I’ll admit that for every answer she gave I probably had two more questions. Maybe we should grab a virtual cup of coffee and have a real discussion sometime!

Is there a question that you’d like me to ask in my next interview? Write it in the comments and I’ll choose one of your questions to ask!

I hope you’ve enjoyed our Blogger to Blogger chat!


An Interview with Genevieve Cogman author of The Invisible Library

 Previously, I had reviewed this author’s book, The Invisible Library, and loved it!  (Click the title for the review) I was fortunate to have been given the chance to interview the author, Genevieve Cogman about the book, and it’s release June 14, 2016 in the United States.
Hi Genevieve, thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for your readers.

ME:  I see that we have the love of fantasy in common! Your bio states that you grew up reading Tolkien, as did many of us, and I definitely see his influence in The Invisible Library, in the characters Silver and Kai. Your love for Sherlock Holmes was also referenced in this book. Did any other influences from your childhood reading surprise you while writing this book?  Continue reading “An Interview with Genevieve Cogman author of The Invisible Library”

Interview : Ashley E Sweeney author of Eliza Waite

I am very excited to have had the chance to interview the author of Eliza Waite, a book that I had previously reviewed and enjoyed.  Click here to read my review of Eliza Waite.

Me: Hi Ms. Sweeney, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to interview you about the release of your new novel Eliza Waite. When I read your bio on your website,, I was not surprised that you had a journalism background because of how descriptive you wrote Eliza’s journey. That must have taken an incredible amount of research. How long did it take you to prepare yourself to write about Eliza and her life in three such disparate settings? Continue reading “Interview : Ashley E Sweeney author of Eliza Waite”